Research in Progress (March 3, 2021)

Cineliteracy: What You Need to Know about 1929 as a Movie and Pop Culture Year

Note:

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Top-Grossing Films:

1. The Broadway Melody, MGM, $2,808,000

2. The Cock-Eyed World, Fox Film Corporation $2,700,000

3, Gold Diggers of Broadway, Warner Bros. $2,540,000

4. Sunny Side Up, Fox Film Corporation $2,190,000

5. On with the Show! Warner Bros. $1,741,000

6. Say It with Songs, $1,715,000

7. Rio Rita, RKO Radio Pictures $1,700,000

8. Show Boat Universal Pictures $1,643,000

9. The Desert Song Warner Bros. $1,594,000

10. Welcome Danger, Paramount Pictures $1,550,000

Movie Events

January 8:

Man with a Movie Camera, Soviet experimental documentary, directed by Dziga Vertov, is released

February 1:

The Broadway Melody, MGM first major sound musical, sparks a cycle Broadway Melody films that runs until 1940.

February 18:

The first Academy Awards, later known as the Oscars, are announced for the year that ended August 1, 1928.

March 3:

William Fox takes control of Loews Inc., including its Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, buying shares from Marcus Loew’s widow and sons and Nicholas Schenck for $50 million. The acquisition eventually falls through.

May 16:

The first Academy Awards are handed at The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles.

May 26:

Fox News is shown in Fox Film’s new widescreen 70 mm Grandeur film format

July 13:

The first all-color talkie (Technicolor), On with the Show, is released by Warner, paving the way to a new color revolution.

July 17:

William Fox is badly injured in a car accident which kills his chauffeur.

August 3:

The Cock-Eyed World beats box office records

August 20:

Hallelujah!, the first Hollywood film with an all-black cast.

August 22:

Walt Disney Productions’ animated short “Silly Symphony” series, The Skeleton Dance, is released.

September:

Paramount Pictures acquires 49% of CBS.

October 24:

“Black Thursday,” start of stock market crash, Dow Jones down 12.8%

October 24:

Jean Harlow signs a five-year, $100 per week contract with Howard Hughes.

October 29:

“Black Tuesday,” Wall Street Stock Market crashes, triggering the “Great Depression”

October 30:

Entertainment newspaper Variety report that Wall Street Lays An Egg leading to many prominent showman and stars losing money on their investments.

November

Warner gain control of First National Pictures buying Fox Film’s 36% stake for $10 million

November 10

Première of John Grierson’s documentary Drifters about North Sea herring fishermen, inaugurating the British Documentary Film Movement.

November 15:

U.K. release of Atlantic, a film about the sinking of the RMS Titanic, one of the first British sound-on-film movies.

Its simultaneously-shot German-language version makes it the first to be released in Germany; it’s also the first Titanic movie with sound.

December:

Anti-trust suits  filed against William Fox and Warner by the U.S. Department of Justice for Fox’s acquisition of Loews and Warners’ acquisition of the Stanley Corporation of America and First National.

Academy Awards (later known as the Oscars)

The 2nd Academy Awards honored the best films released between August 1, 1928, and July 31, 1929. They took place on April 3, 1930, at an awards banquet in the Cocoanut Grove of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

Most nominations:

In Old Arizona (Fox Film Corporation) – 5

Best Picture: The Broadway Melody (MGM)
Best Director: Frank Lloyd – The Divine Lady
Best Actor: Warner Baxter – In Old Arizona
Best Actress: Mary Pickford – Coquette

Popular Stars

Richard Barthelmess

Ruth Chatterton

Maurice Chevalier

Douglas Fairbanks

Greta Garbo

Ann Harding

Walter Huston

Emil Jannings

Victor McLaglen

William Powell

Norma Shearer

Oscar: Year 1
Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Thursday, May 16, 1929, honoring movies released from August 1, 1927 to August 1, 1928.
  • BEST DIRECTING
    Frank Borzage
    7th Heaven
    Frank Borzage, winner for Dramatic Picture
  • BEST DIRECTING
    Lewis Milestone
    Two Arabian Knights
    Lewis Milestone, winner for Comedy Picture, with…
    BEST PICTURE
    Wings
    Wings: The first Oscar winner for Best Picture

MEMORABLE MOMENTS

  • The First Oscar Presentation and Banquet Held in the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
  • Joseph Farnham, Douglas Fairbanks
    Joseph Farnham receiving his Oscar from presenter Douglas…
  • Janet Gaynor
    Janet Gaynor: Best Actress winner for 3 films: 7th Heaven, Street Angel and Sunrise

WINNERS & NOMINEES

ACTOR

WINNER: EMIL JANNINGS

The Last Command, The Way of All Flesh

NOMINEES

RICHARD BARTHELMESS, The Noose, The Patent Leather Kid

ACTRESS

WINNER

JANET GAYNOR, 7th Heaven, Street Angel, Sunrise

NOMINEES

LOUISE DRESSER, A Ship Comes In

GLORIA SWANSON, Sadie Thompson

ART DIRECTION

WINNER

THE DOVE, William Cameron Menzies

TEMPEST. William Cameron Menzies

NOMINEES

SUNRISE

Rochus Gliese

7TH HEAVEN

Harry Oliver

CINEMATOGRAPHY

WINNER

SUNRISE, Charles Rosher, Karl Struss

NOMINEES

THE DEVIL DANCER

George Barnes

THE MAGIC FLAME

George Barnes

SADIE THOMPSON

George Barnes

DIRECTING (COMEDY PICTURE)

WINNER

TWO ARABIAN KNIGHTS

Lewis Milestone

NOMINEES

SPEEDY

Ted Wilde

DIRECTING (DRAMATIC PICTURE)

WINNER

7TH HEAVEN

Frank Borzage

NOMINEES

SORRELL AND SON

Herbert Brenon

THE CROWD

King Vidor

ENGINEERING EFFECTS

WINNER

WINGS

Roy Pomeroy

NOMINEES

Ralph Hammeras

Nugent Slaughter

OUTSTANDING PICTURE

WINNER

WINGS, Paramount Famous Lasky

NOMINEES

THE RACKET, The Caddo Company

7TH HEAVEN, Fox

SPECIAL AWARD

WINNER, THE CIRCUS

Special Award

THE JAZZ SINGER

Special Award

UNIQUE AND ARTISTIC PICTURE

WINNER

SUNRISE

Fox

NOMINEES

THE CROWD

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

CHANG

Paramount Famous Lasky

WRITING (ADAPTATION)

WINNER

7TH HEAVEN

Benjamin Glazer

NOMINEES

THE JAZZ SINGER

Alfred Cohn

GLORIOUS BETSY

Anthony Coldeway

WRITING (ORIGINAL STORY)

WINNER

UNDERWORLD

Ben Hecht

NOMINEES

THE LAST COMMAND

Lajos Biro

WRITING (TITLE WRITING)

WINNER

Joseph Farnham

NOMINEES

THE PRIVATE LIFE OF HELEN OF TROY

Gerald Duffy
George Marion, Jr.

Note:

If you want to know more about these issues, please read my book: